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Coronavirus impacts on American architecture

April 2020

A new report from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reveals the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on architecture firms in the U.S.

A recent AIA survey found that 50% of architecture firms reported fewer new design projects for March - as of the 23rd March survey date - as compared to their expectations entering the month.

In terms of work on active projects, 83% of architecture firms are anticipating a decline in revenue for March relative to their expectations heading into the month, with over a third of firms estimating that their revenue will be at least 10% below expectations.  This situation is anticipated to worsen in April, with 94% of firms expecting revenue declines, and over half of firms (57%) anticipating that the revenue falloff will exceed 10%.

“Like most other businesses, U.S. architecture firms are heading into uncharted waters regarding what the economy holds in store for them as the COVID-19 pandemic plays out globally.” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Different businesses are feeling the impact of the slowdown differently.”

Beyond billing activity, just under half of firms (48%) indicated that all, or almost all, of their staff are now working remotely, while 31% reported that some of their staff are working remotely.  Few firms reported a major impact to their staff due to family/personal reasons, but 15% of firms said that at least some of their staff are currently unable to work at all.

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